Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Jones


Abraham Maslow in his work From The Farther Reaches of Human Nature made the statement:

Every human being has (two) sets of forces within him. One set clings to safety and defensiveness out of fear, tending to regress backward, hanging to the past, afraid to grow... afraid of independence, freedom and separateness. The other set of forces impels him forward toward wholeness of Self and uniqueness of Self, toward full functioning of all his capacities, toward confidence in the face of the external world at the same time that he can accept his deepest, real, unconscious Self (45-6).

What makes a person afraid to grow? What holds a person from reaching the farthest limits, from trying to touch the horizon?

Zora Neale Hurston seeks to answer these questions. She makes her audience aware of how they can become victims of stereotypes which they interpret as truth, thus preventing themselves from developing into individuals. Hurston focuses on the black female in her works. Hurston urges black females to look at their environment objectively. If the stereotyped roles of society are in conflict with a woman's self, Hurston urges the woman to transcend these roles. When women transcend the norm, they become autonomous individuals free of the restrictions of the stereotyped roles others may try to place upon them.